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Name Helen Louise Border
Nick Name  
Last Known Address Sunderland
Family Circumstances Daughter of Bob and Lynn Border.

Unit of Service R.A.F. Cadet
Number and Rank Cadet Sgt. 111 Squadron.
Date & Place of Death 20th June 1998. Co Durham
Grave Location
(if known)
Where Commemorated
(if known)
Bisley Rifle Range.

Details of any conflict, training exercise and operations which the deceased had participated in during service.

Helen was tragically killed in a car accident when she went to Barnard Castle for shooting practice prior to going to represent the RAF Cadets at the annual Bisley Shoot.

Other general information. online links images etc.

Because of Helens long standing commitment to the RAF Cadets the exceptional decision has been taken to include her in this Book of Remembrance. She was on duty wearing her country's uniform and her young age should not bar her from being recognised as a serving representative of the RAF.

Helen has a number of relatives who are entered in this Online Memorial Book.

Helens Great Grandfather:   Robert Henry Downs Snr.

Helens Great Grandfather:   William Stavers.

Helens Great Uncle:           Gordon Downs.

Helens Great Uncle:           Robert Henry Downs Jnr.

All the above can be accessed through the names index.

Above: Cadet Helen Border receiving the coveted Cadet 100 medal

from Group Captain Bill Gambold in 1997.


Below: Helen's Awards



Above: Helen - Flying


Above: Helen - Glider Pilot.




                                                 Below:: Helens Memorial tree at Bisley.



                                                                      Below: Helens Obituary.



Cadet Sergeant

Helen Louise Border

On Saturday 20th June 1998,
Helen Border died as a result of injuries    sustained in a tragic accident.

A cadet with 111 (Sunderland) Squadron since        12 August 1994, Helen had achieved a great deal     in such a short time.  An all-round cadet who     would give 110%, Helen’s first love in the Corps was shooting – Target Rifle or Service Rifle.  Helen attended the Inter-Services Cadet Rifle Meeting in 1995, 1996 and 1997.  At the 1997 meeting, she attained the coveted Cadet 100 Award and represented the Air Training Corps in the Inter-Services Final.  Helen went on to attend a NRA Coaching Course at Bisley, where she qualified as a Great Britain Target Shooting Federation Instructor, Small Bore Coach.  Her ultimate aim was to enter the Imperial Meeting in 1998 after the ISCRM and go on to be selected for the Athelings Team to represent Great Britain.

Helen’s cadet life, however, did not simply revolve around shooting.  In early 1996, Helen joined the squadron band and became the first female drummer for many years.  This was typical of her, she was always going out of her way to be one of the lads.  This was part of her very nature, she was always outgoing and was a major influence on the squadron.  Ever since the accident, there has been something missing – her boisterous voice shouting down the corridor, followed by the inevitable laugh.  She was a valued friend to everyone and didn’t have an enemy in the world. 

Outside of official cadet hours, she was always willing to lend a hand with extra activities and played a very lively part in the squadron’s social scene.  As a friend, she was second to none.  At the church service attended by over 300 family, friends and ATC colleagues, cadets from Durham & Northumberland Wing lined the route of the cortege into the church.  Helen will remain an example to all who follow her.         

She will remain in our hearts forever.                               









All data is offered in good faith. Should you feel any information is inaccurate or incomplete please contact sunderlandafn@gmail.com